Top Ten Tuesday: Ten of our biggest pet peeves in books

top ten tuesday                peeves

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Even though C.J. hates the phrase "pet peeves." And yes we know it's Thursday, thanks.          

c.j.'s selections                         ten ten ten

Hypermasculine brojerk love interests 

I'm looking at you, Rowan from Queen of Shadows and basically most SJM guys noawadays. Or Locke from Roar. If their only attribute is being strong and male and smelling like pine and male and being overprotective and male...ew no. 


Fictional languages that aren't linguistically sound (especially names!!!)

Languages have rules: about sounds, syntax. They have commonalities, like profanity generally being one syllable. Names MUST fit your languages phonological rules unless they're influenced by outside cultures. I hate when people just pluck any name and it doesn't make sense. Monsea...really? 
(Whitley: And curse words! You can't just make up two curse words and use them exclusively through the rest of the book! Argh!)
"She let out a breath she hadn't even known she was holding." 

I didn't notice it until someone brought it up. Now I notice it. Everywhere. Popping out at me. Curling its insidious fingers around my soul.  

*note, example cover is just me being ironic. There are so many books that do this I couldn't think of just one, and also JTAB sounds cool so have a cover. 

Titles that don't make sense 

Like Blood Rose Rebellion. Pretty sure those words are never strung together in the whole book. Or, I loved Genie Lo, but I don't really get the Epic Crush part. Words on Bathroom Walls? Most tenuous link ever. You can't just pick something because it sounds pretty! 

Plot twists that come out of nowhere 

Tell me a story, don't throw in a Deus Ex Naga because you forgot to think about it in your first draft but you need something really explosive at the end. If your plot twists don't follow at all from the rest of your story, I reserve the right to laugh at you. 

whitley's selections                         ten ten ten

Nonsense geography

Whether it's entire continents that somehow can be crossed faster that Maui or biomes that stop and start at country lines (or in the case of the book to the left, both), I get real picky about my geography and fantasy maps. And don't get me started on geographically impossible rivers.

Nobility that doesn't noble

It's not that I don't get the appeal of royalty, I do! But, um, the glitz and the glamour divorced from actual work is people. Isn't it? can just write books about rich people if that's what you really wanted. (Honestly I think Graceling was a better fit for this peeve, but CJ already used that one.) 
Impossible descriptions

I'm sorry, but if your beau is an entire stadium length away from you, I should not be hearing about the minute twitches in his clenched jaw. I mean, not unless you have super-sight and it just hasn't been mentioned before now.

Same for any detail that's far away, or only glimpsed for a second, or while the POV character is looking through a tiny door crack, etc.

Pretty much anything military

I mean, this one's pretty much a given. There's too much to get wrong, and I'm going to catch it and laugh at it. (Riders wasn't actually bad on this count...except that the MC is 18 and sounded like the 20-year veteran that the author clearly went to for research. I spent the whole book going "lol, you're a FNG, shut up.")

Girls Hiding as Boys

Pure, 100% personal pettiness and preference here, but Alana ruined this trope for me in high school and nothing will live up to it. Plus there's just so many weird pitfalls involved, too many to list here. (I almost used Under a Painted Sky for this one, but no, go read that book, it was gorgeous.)

Your turn!  What book tropes or aspects irk you?  


  1. I love these! I've been noticing the breath holding a lot lately too.

  2. I'm reading Flame in the Mist and she is pretending to be a he. I keep wondering how she is hiding the fact that she doesn't stand up to pee. They're in pretty close quarters!

  3. I kinda sorta agree with the titles that make sense...or I WANT to agree. But really, I have to admit that I'm a sucker for some of those titles. Sometimes they sound so cool and I go "OOOOOH" even if there's not much significance to them.

    One book trope that gets to me involves love triangles. I'm a bigger fan of them than a lot of people (or they don't easily annoy me, I should say), but when one of the characters is killed off JUST to allow the remaining characters to get together annoys me SO MUCH. It makes me feel like that character had no other purpose than to die. :/